Gareth Bale: Real Madrid forward could sit out Wales friendly in Ukraine

By Rob PhillipsBBC Wales football correspondent
Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale has scored 19 goals in 54 internationals for Wales
International Friendly: Wales v Northern Ireland
Date: Thursday, 24 March Venue: Cardiff City Stadium Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Two Wales & BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru and BBC Sport app, plus live text commentary.

Gareth Bale could miss Wales' Euro 2016 warm-up game in Ukraine this month for the birth of his second child.

Emma Rhys-Jones, the Real Madrid forward's partner, is expected to give birth in Spain around that time.

Wales host Northern Ireland in Cardiff on 24 March and travel to Ukraine four days later.

Bale is set to be named in manager Chris Coleman's squad for both matches in the knowledge new parent duties could affect the player's involvement.

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The former Tottenham forward's absence would add to Coleman's list of unavailable players as he prepares for Euro 2016, Wales' first major finals since 1958.

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, West Ham United defender James Collins and Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards will miss the two friendlies.

Ramsey is expected to be out for four weeks with a thigh injury he suffered during Arsenal's FA Cup fifth-round replay win at Hull City on 8 March.

Collins is out with a hamstring injury while Edwards has had surgery on a fractured metatarsal and admits he faces a race to be fit for the finals in France.

Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett is also set to be ruled out with a hamstring injury.